Where the wild things are

Isabella Tree

Author Isabella Tree speaks at Bard College on Thursday, October 5. Tree’s lauded memoir, Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm, documents the author’s audacious effort to coax full-bodied nature back into England’s Knepp Estate. For years Charlie Burrell and his wife, Isabella Tree, farmed Knepp Castle Estate and struggled to turn a profit. By 2000, with the farm facing bankruptcy, they decided to try something radical: They would restore Knepp’s 3,500 acres to the wild. Using herds of free-roaming animals to mimic the actions of the megafauna of the past, they hoped to bring nature back to their depleted land. But what would the neighbors say, in the manicured countryside of modern England where a blade of grass out of place is considered an affront? Despite the opposition they faced, Knepp is now a breeding hotspot for rare and threatened species like turtledoves, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies.

Isabella Tree, Thursday, Oct. 10, 5 p.m., Free, Weiss Cinema, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, www.bard.edu